Sarah Simpson column: Daddy Day field trip to City Hall a hit

“They want to go upstairs so I made them ask at the front desk.”

A funny thing happened on the way to pay a parking ticket.

OK wait, let me back up for a moment here. The story begins with me sitting at my desk at the office. It was a work day for me and a day off for my husband, otherwise known as a “Daddy Day” to the kids.

They didn’t have too much on their agenda so my family had stopped in at the office and said hello before wandering around town to get a few things done — namely to search for Pokémon. I’m not sure it’s still a popular thing but my son is all about it right now.

Not long after they’d left the office I got a text from my husband. They’d walked to City Hall to pay a parking ticket.

It was an easy sell for my husband. City Hall is a Pokéstop. Whatever that means. Plus, the kids love the clock tower. Inordinately so. So much so, in fact, that we often take the long way home just to drive by it.

Anyway, the initial text read “They wanted to see the inside of the clock tower” and the accompanying photo was one of my children walking through City Hall.

I asked if they enjoyed the tiny totems on the shelf. (If you haven’t seen them, they’re worth a look.)

“They’re just in awe of the whole place,” my husband replied.

Apparently Daddy Day did not disappoint. But I never thought it would be because of a trip to Duncan City Hall.

I thought that would be the end of it, that he’d pay the ticket and they’d be off hunting for fictional monsters again in no time, but then I got another text.

“They want to go upstairs so I made them ask at the front desk.”

I laughed out loud.

They’re three and nearly five years old and they want a closer look at local government? The earlier the better, I suppose. But there’s no way they’d be brave enough to ask a stranger if they could have a look around. No. Not my kids.

Then came the photo of them wandering around upstairs. I couldn’t believe my eyes. They asked at the front desk!? Who are these kids?

Suddenly I was overcome with worry. Were they being quiet? Respectful? Lord help me if they were running around up there rearranging furniture and poking their heads into offices.

“They are so excited to be in here,” my husband texted. “But they’re behaving so well.”

It helped, I’m sure, that they found a secret bathroom. I’m sure none of the adults that work there know it’s a secret one but the kids were pretty chuffed they’d “found” it regardless.

“Going into council chambers!” was the next text.

Oh my gosh they’re having a full-out field trip tour over there, I thought to myself. I wondered if they’d enjoy the throwback decor as much as I do when I’m in there. It’s hands down my favourite council chambers of all time.

I thought the final photo would be the one of my daughter waving the little City of Duncan flag that I assume whoever they coerced into letting them into council chambers must have given her. But it wasn’t.

It was of them playing quietly back at the front desk while their dad paid the parking ticket.

“Now I can’t get them to leave,” wrote my husband. “They want to come back tomorrow.”

Sure, I thought to myself. Just maybe without the parking ticket.


A patient tourguide. Thank you to whoever took my kids on an unscheduled tour of City Hall. You made their day. Now they think this is a normal thing and want to go back again to visit soon. (Family photo)

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